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The ear is a spike, consisting of a central stem on which tightly packed rows of flowers grow. These develop into fruits containing the edible seeds. In corn (maize), it is protected by leaves called husks.
A parasite known as Anguina tritici (Ear Cockle) specifically affects the ears on wheat and rye by destroying the tissues and stems during growth. The parasite has been eradicated in most countries (with the exception of North Africa and West Asia) by using the crop rotation system.
- Jackson, Benjamin Daydon (1928). A Glossary of Botanic Terms with their Derivation and Accent (fourth ed.). London: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd. p. 121.
- Swartz, Delbert (1971). Collegiate Dictionary of Botany. New York: The Ronald Press Company. p. 162.
- Lerner, Rosie. "Corn - Ears". Senior Study Vegetables. Purdue University. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- "Ear Cockle Disease of Wheat". Agrihunt. Retrieved 24 May 2012.